Old Forester 86 Proof Kentucky Straight
Old Forester is yet another distillery that had been in business during Prohibition. In fact, its operated non-stop since 1870. Judging by its history alone, Old Forester deserves a rightful place on this list.
Taste-wise, the 86 proof features a complex and deep profile, partly owing to the prolonged fermentation process. Aside from the oak-rich flavors, you get refreshing mint notes with just a touch of cigar box and candied orange.
This great bourbon often sells out. You can check to see if it is in stock by .
Bourbon Must Be Aged In New Charred Oak Barrels
Okay, so its not just about the corn. One interesting point of criteria is that all juice must be aged in new charred oak barrels. Mark that as your second bourbon clue.
Bourbon also must be aged in new charred oak barrels, and cannot include any additives or colorings. Other whiskeys can be aged in barrels previously used to age other spirits, and they dont necessarily need to be whiskey barrelsport, sherry, and rum casks are used in the aging process for non-bourbon whiskeys, . To be designated straight bourbon whiskey, bourbon has to have been aged in new charred oak barrels for a minimum of two years.
The Letter Of The Law
Here, then, are the regulations for straight American whiskey, including Bourbon, excerpted directly from the standards of definition contained in the Code of Federal Regulations. Mouseover the bolded words for the most relevant parts.
The regulations above will clear up most, but not all, of the myths and misconceptions that surround Bourbon. Certain distilling practices are of course not covered in the regulations. The use of “sour mash” is a good example. We all have an uncle or a grandmother who “only drank sour mash, yes sir, ’cause that’s the good stuff.” In truth, every Bourbon whiskey on the vast shelves of The Party Source is made with a sour mash technique. Some of them state it on the label, some don’t, but all of them use it. Sour mash refers to the addition to freshly cooked grains of a small portion of previously fermented mash, that is, the mash of corn and other grains that is fermented into a beer before distillation. This leftover mash is sour, hence the name, and serves to introduce a stable, friendly environment for the yeast that will ferment the beer. Sour mash is an important step in Bourbon making, but it really gets far more attention than it deserves.
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Best Barrel Strength: Elijah Craig Barrel Proof
Region: Kentucky | ABV: 60-65% | Tasting Notes: Toast, Apple, Vanilla
Named after a Baptist preacher who famously founded a whiskey distillery in 1789, the Elijah Craig line from Heaven Hill distilleries was introduced in 1986, becoming an early player in the fledgling “craft whiskey” movement. The brand currently offers four different bourbons, including their high-octane, 12-year-old “single barrel” expression, which is one of McKayâs favorites. “Itâs just delicious,” he says, “and you donât need to pour very much.”
âItâs my go-to at work for its versatility and its affordability. It’s an accessible bourbon that I can use in any bourbon recipe.” âXania Woodman, bar manager and lead bartender at O.P. Rockwell Cocktail Lounge & Music Hall
Popular Bourbon And Whiskey Cocktails
Now, the fun part is mixing these spirits into cocktails! Of course, bourbon cocktails are whiskey cocktails. But not all whiskey cocktails are bourbon cocktails. In other words, some whiskey cocktails call for bourbon specifically. Other whiskey cocktails you can use any style of whiskey, including bourbon. Usually Irish whiskey cocktails and Scotch cocktails are specific to that type of whiskey, so dont substitute bourbon.
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Elmer T Lee Single Barrel Kentucky Straight
Sporting the proud name of the master distiller Elmer T. Lee, this bourbon provides rich nuances of flavor that show off its premium heritage. The sweetness on the nose introduces smooth maple syrup and brown sugar aromas that permeate this bourbons body.
On the other hand, the mid-palate is defined by a silky succession of honey, marzipan, and orange peel notes. In addition, Elmer T. Lee wont leave you guessing at the end, since its finish is quite long with a hint of spicy charred oak.
Bourbon Has To Hit Certain Abv Marks
When bourbon is barreled, it also has to hit a certain proof, or alcohol content in the spirit. The mash must be distilled at 160 proof or less, and aged in barrels until it is no more than 125 proof or less. Before bottling, bourbon is filtered and diluted down to no less than 80 proof . Other whiskeys have different ABV standards for barreling and distilling. The minimum bottling strength for Scotch whiskey, for example, is also 80 proof or 40 percent ABV, but there is no maximum or minimum ABV for the distillate.
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The Quintessencial Kentucky Water
One of the most important parts of how is bourbon made is adding Kentucky water. In fact, Kentucky water is potentially the most critical ingredient in bourbon. Kentucky water is hard, limestone-packed water that bonds nicely during the fermentation process.
Many people across the states have tried to replicate the flavor of Kentucky Bourbon, but they cannot do so because they lack Kentuckys hard water.
Bourbon Vs Whiskey: Whats The Difference
All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. What does that mean, exactly? Were glad you asked! Bourbon vs whiskey seems to be a great debate, and it sparks many questions when ordering at your local bar.
There are many kinds of whiskey in the world, just like there are many different kinds of beer. If you know your way around breweries, you would never call an IPA a lager, right? In order to be bourbon vs whiskey, certain criteria must be met.
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Where Does Bourbon Come From
Bourbon traces its heritage to immigrants who brought their whiskey-making skills to the American colonies in the 18th century. Rye was the crop of choice for them, because it was easier to establish than the traditional barley. But when settlers pushed west to Kentucky, which had gained a reputation for fertile soil and pure spring waters, corn became the base material for their whiskey, and it established a style that Kentucky could call its own.Although its historically affiliated with Kentucky, Bourbon today may be made anywhere in the United States, so long as producers follow a recipe and process that is set by law to be qualified to be called bourbon.
Black Buttons Bourbon Vs Whiskey
Here at Black Button, we distill a variety of different kinds of whiskeys. Our signature Four Grain Straight Bourbon Whiskey meets all of bourbons requirements its made up of 60 percent Corn, 20 percent Wheat, 9 percent Rye and 11 percent Malted Barley, proofed down to 84 and aged in new charred oak barrels from our friends at Adirondack Barrel Cooperage.
So, whats a whiskey we make thats not bourbon? Our Empire Rye Straight Whiskey actually has zero corn. Made up of 96 percent rye and 4 percent malted barley, it does not meet the requirements of a bourbon! But it sure is a fine whiskey. The big, bold, spicy character captures the true spirit of the Empire State.
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Bourbon Vs Whiskey What Is It
Whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash, including various grains like wheat, rye, barley, and corn. Its then aged in wooden barrels or casks. Whiskey can be made worldwide, and there are many popular styles, including American Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey, Scotch Whisky, and Irish Whiskey. Scotland is the original home of whisky, and its been produced there for hundreds of years- though youll find various tales of who produced it for the first time. We may never know the true story, but its fun to hear all the legends that have evolved over time. If youre curious about the details on how to make whiskey, check out our blog on the techniques, ingredients, and process that goes into producing it.Bourbon, made of grain, yeast, and water, is the namesake of its birthplace- Bourbon County, Kentucky, in the 1700s. It was produced in Kentucky and shipped down the Mississippi River to Louisiana, making its way to Bourbon Street. By tradition, true bourbon comes from distilleries in Old Bourbon County, but new laws allow the bourbon to be made anywhere in the US. However, the limestone water in Kentucky and the climate are two primary factors in determining the flavors. In honor of the tradition of real bourbon, most distilleries outside of Kentucky wont use the term bourbon in their whiskeys. If youre looking for a premium sipping bourbon, weve got you covered in our Bourbon of the Month Club.
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Why Are Oak Barrels Used To Make Bourbon
Barrels help with the aging, coloration, and sweetening process when making bourbon. They are one of the most important parts of how is bourbon made because they have been a part of the bourbon-making process since its origination in the late eighteenth century.
Before the aging process inside oak barrels, bourbon is a clear, white color. After letting it age in the interior of a charred oak barrel, it adopts a mahogany color. This color deepens as the aging process continues, producing a stronger and darker hue the longer it has aged. However, it will be diluted with alcohol when reduced.
In addition to coloring the bourbon, barrels have other effects too. At the stage of the barreling process, bourbon is 130 proof, which is a highly concentrated level of alcohol. While aging, the strong alcohol also contracts a charred oaky flavor.
The oaky flavor of bourbon is sweet and often described as similar to the taste of caramel. The intensity of the sweetness increases with how charred the interior of the barrel is. Sweetness is also influenced by how long the bourbon is left to age.
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Whiskey Vs Bourbon Vs Scotch Abv Essentials
If you still cant understand what the difference between whiskey and bourbon is, this should help. The good old Scotch Whisky Act guidelines state that a whiskey must be distilled at an alcohol by volume strength of less than 94.8% and have a minimum alcoholic concentration of 40% by volume to be considered a scotch. By American liquor standards, any bourbon higher than 125 proof shouldnt enter the barrel for maturation, and anything under 80 proof cant be bottled as bourbon.
We hope this article answers the age-old question, Whats the difference between bourbon and whiskey? to your satisfaction. Looking for a place to get Marsala or any other type of liquor you could possibly desire? Check out Arrow Liquormart, the nearest liquor store that can deliver straight to your doorstep!
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey
Hudson Baby is the first New York-distilled bourbon, and it offers a special blend of malted barley and corn. Its uncommon to find a bourbon that features a marsh bill with 10% malted barley and 90% corn. But how does this affect the taste?
Those with a sweet tooth will surely like the Hudson Baby. As it is aged in small barrels, there is also more contact between the spirit and the barrel surface. This provides for an extra smooth profile and aromas that are hard to rival.
to purchase one of the best bourbon whiskeys at a great price!
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Best Value: Maker’s Mark
Region: Kentucky | ABV: 45% | Tasting Notes: Butterscotch, Cherry, Vanilla
The darling of the bourbon category in decades past, Maker’s Mark has largely been eclipsed in the affections of today’s generation of connoisseurs by a dizzying range of cult bottlings and hard-to-find special releasesâbut don’t count out this modern classic just yet. This venerable “wheated bourbon” is delicious on its own, and also plays well in any classic whiskey cocktail. The best part about it is the priceâthis bourbon punches way above its weight class. Expect to pay no more than around $30 a bottle, which is quite reasonable for something so versatile, complex, and well crafted.
National Bourbon Heritage Month
In August 2007, the United States Senate declared that September is officially recognized as National Bourbon Heritage Month. The designation is designed to celebrate the significant historical, economic, and industrial role that the bourbon industry has played in the country’s history.
While this may not impact the average consumer, it is an honor for the people who have crafted bourbon over the years. It is a perfect excuse for the rest of us to talk about bourbon for an entire month and sample many of the great bourbon cocktails available.
You may also think about attending the Kentucky Bourbon Festival in the heart of bourbon country. This week-long party takes place in Bardstown, Kentucky, typically during the second week of September.
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How Is Bourbon Whiskey Aged
Whatever technique used, the process results in a clear distillate, which is referred to as a white dog. Depending on the type of still used, its strength may range between 65% and 80% ABV, but it must not exceed the latter concentration.
Bourbon whiskey may not be aged in used casks and coopers are commissioned to make new ones with each batch. Larger whiskey brands may have an in-house cooperage but most producers will rely on independent artisans.
Typically, barrels are produced from American white oak and the methods remain relatively artisanal. Furthermore, their interior is charred with a naked flame beforehand, which we explore in further detail below.
Since used bourbon barrels have little use in the USA, theyre typically exported to distilleries around the world. Scotland is one of the most famous countries to use ex-bourbon barrels for its own whisky. Otherwise, theyre also used in the Caribbean for rum as well as Ireland, Canada, and Mexico.
Before its placed in the oak casks, the white dog is hydrated to no more than 62.5% ABV but it may be less if desired. This regulation is put in place to prevent producers from using fewer barrels by ageing a highly concentrated distillate.
Water Throughout The Process
The first ingredient in whisky is water. To make whisky, distillers need lots of pure, cold water. It’s so important a lot of distilleries talk about how important their water source is. Many say they chose the site of their distillery because there was a perfect water source nearby. While it may be a key part of a distillery’s story and history, the impact water has on a whisky’s flavour is debatable. Some experts say the water actually has only little impact on the taste of whiskies.
Water has two separate roles in whisky production. It is an ingredient, but it is also needed in whisky production itself. You need hot water as part of mashing, to cook the grains, and it is also used to heat the stills at some distilleries. Cold water helps convert alcohol vapours created during distillation back to liquid form. Water is sometimes added to new-make spirit to reduce its strength before its put into casks. And again, adding water adjusts alcohol strength before bottling. So, if you have a bottle of whisky thats 40% ABV, what youre drinking is 40% alcohol and 60% water. A key exception is cask strength whisky, which has no added water before bottling. You can read about adding water to whisky here.
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Bourbon County Kentucky Is Established
Though still part of Virginia at the time, Bourbon County was established in 1785. The name honored a French royal family who aided the colonies during the Revolutionary War. The modern borders of Bourbon County, Kentucky, are not the way it was originally established “Old Bourbon County” is comprised of 34 modern counties.
In the late 1700s, many German, Irish, and Scottish settlers migrated to the land that would become Kentucky in 1792. It was perfect for growing corn and other grains. Some knew how to make whiskey, and the local limestone-filtered water became integral in making the whiskey that would take on the bourbon name.
Current day Bourbon County has little significance in the production of bourbon whiskey. Instead, most modern production is concentrated in the Louisville, Frankfurt, and Bardstown areas.
Mashing Cooking And Fermentation
There is less distinction among North American whiskies in mashing and cooking. Batch cooking is used in most cases, with continuous cookers favoured for lighter or blended products. Fermentation is accomplished using a mixture of the older open-topped fermenters and the modern conventional closed containers with controlled temperature. Backset, the liquid at the bottom of the still after distillation, is added in many processes, although proportions differ. Yeast selection and maintenance vary between modern and more traditional distilleries. Increasingly, modern distillers turn to yeast suppliers for their pitching yeast to standardize and thereby safeguard their products from altered flavours produced by shifts in yeast metabolism .
The sour mash technique used in some American bourbon products and Tennessee whiskies involves inoculation with lactic acid bacteria prior to the addition of backset and yeast to begin fermentation. The lactic acid bacteria provide distinct flavour notes in these branded products and help maintain batch-to-batch consistency. Interestingly, the Tennessee state regulation defining what can be labelled as Tennessee sour mash whiskey does not mention the sour mash process:
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